The third week of excavation saw dirt moving in four very different groups. Besides excavation, the good news is that the weather has changed and we received no rain this week.
In Zumba, Dominique finished drawing the western excavation, Paige worked on the northern building at both the base and the summit, and Max continued with the eastern excavation. The east building in Zumba produced a total of six caches by week’s end, the most elaborate being a cache of two face vessels placed in the rear summit building fill along with a series of obisidan eccentrics. The most interesting caches from this building, however, are two ball-like ollas, each of which is capped with a domed lid that contains the crude modeled features of a feline. We have not had this kind of cache before at Caracol.
Excavation also proceeded in earnest in Tango, located north of Zumba. Hector has been excavating in the low north building of this platform and Victoria is in the small eastern building. Neither structure evinces cut stone facings. A very finely carved shell disc was found in the humus of the north building. Two areal excavations were also begun this week. One is on a line-of-stone building in the east-center of the plaza; the other is over the northwest corner of the south building. Excavation cannot be attempted on the axis of the massive south building because of the huge trees that block this access.
In Dos Aguadas, the central trenches of all four structures were completed down to the latest stone architecture. The south building has a frontal balk, meaning that it had to have had side stairways. Three of the sections have been started. In the north building, the western interior of the building has also been excavated, exposing a huge rear bench. The low southwest plaza structure has also had more than half of its extent areally exposed. A series of caches have been recovered at plaza level in front of the eastern building; all were set into bedrock; two of these caches were also capped with limestone slabs flush with the bedrock. Interestingly, only one of these caches, a set of lip-to-lip large bowls, was complete; the others were all partial, indicating disturbance either at the time of caching or in antiquity.
In Terraza, three excavations are progressing. Hector is undertaking an areal exposure of the center of the main south building. This areal exposure has produced a back wall and a central bench with side arms facing north. The architecture is surprisingly good. Tiffany is excavating the upper east building, the core of which has produced a huge amount of sherds (some preserved polychromes) and a fragment of a slate stela. Patrick is excavating the main east building, which is badly slumped on its northern side; this structure yielded base-walls at its summit and two door jambs; the side of the building has clear steps and also yielded parts of a burner.
Finally, at the end of the week two excavations were laid out in a fifth group, Salsa, on the northern and eastern buildings. This is a small group and will be used for spill-over labor next week, should any exist.